Remembering Christopher Hitchens: Stephen Fry & Friends On The Life, Loves And Hates Of Hitchens - IQ2 Talks
From Intelligence Squared:
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In this historic event, Stephen Fry and other friends of Christopher Hitchens came together to celebrate the life and work of this great writer, iconoclast and debater. Fry was joined on stage at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall by Richard Dawkins and the two discussed Hitch’s unflinching commitment to the truth. Hollywood actor Sean Penn was beamed in from LA by Google+ and, between cigarette puffs, read from Hitch’s acclaimed work, The Trial of Henry Kissinger. Five friends of Hitch spoke via satellite in New York: satirist Christopher Buckley and editor Lewis Lapham mused on Hitch’s prowess as a journalist. ‘Like a pot of gold’, said Lapham. Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and James Fenton delighted the audience with stories of Hitchens as a young man. Rushdie drew roars of laughter when he recounted a word game invented by Amis and Hitchens where the word ‘love’ is replaced with ‘hysterical sex’. Particular favourites included Hysterical Sex in the Time of Cholera and Hysterical Sex Is All You Need.
Watching the event with Hitch at his bedside in Texas, Hitch’s wife Carol and novelist Ian McEwan provided an email commentary. ‘His Rolls Royce mind is still purring beautifully’, typed McEwan.
The event was watched live by 2500 at the venue, and by thousands more in UK cinemas and online.
iq2 Shorts: Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) VS Ann Widdecome: Catholic Church Debate
“[The Catholic Church] is obsessed with sex, absolutely obsessed. Now they will say we “with our permissive society and rude jokes are obsessed.” No, we have a healthy attitude. We like it, it’s fun, it’s jolly, because it’s a primary impulse it can be dangerous and dark and difficult. It’s a bit like food in that respect only even more exciting. The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese and that in erotic terms is the Catholic Church in a nutshell.”
During his Intelligence² debate speech against the motion: “The Catholic church is a force for good in the world”, November 7th 2009.
“I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want.”
Atheists Beat Catholics on Religion
Do you want to know about religion? You better ask an atheist.
From this article in today’s Los Angeles Times:
If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist.
Heresy? Perhaps. But a survey that measured Americans’ knowledge of religion found that atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths. In fact, the gaps in knowledge among some of the faithful may give new meaning to the term “blind faith.”
God Save…the Children!
The lider of the largest web of pederasts in the word is in British soil. The Pope Benedict XVI made it’s very anticipated visit to the United Kingdom. He was received by leaders of the Catholic Church of England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland (all members of The United Kingdom) and by The Queen Elizabeth II herself.
Britain– or at least Scotland – welcomed the Pope with open arms.
Tens of thousands turned out in Edinburgh and Glasgow to greet him on a day of celebration – and some significance. Despite all thevenomous hatred from the likes of the quiz show host Stephen Fry (whose remarks, surprise surprise, coincide with the much-publicised launch of his latest book!), the crowds welcomed the Holy Father and put to oneside any justifiable concerns about the lamentable way he has handled the paedophilia scandal. Benedict XVI was greeted by the Queen this morning with the full honours due to a world leader, hours after the senior cardinal who made the provocative remarks was dropped from his entourage.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, who accused Britain of harbouring aggressive atheism and discriminating against Christians, was condemned as racist by secular protesters determined to disrupt the Papal trip, the first to Britain for 28 years. The 77-year-old Cardinal had told a German magazine: ‘When you land at Heathrow you think at times you have landed in a Third World country.’ Such ill-judged comments from Benedict’s close circle were a gift to the collection of celebrities and Left-wing atheists mobilising against his visit. (you gotta take whatever is thrown at you, right?)
Yesterday a group of 55, including Stephen Fry, author Terry Pratchett and academic Richard Dawkins, claimed it introduced overtones of racism into the controversy. Gay campaigner and anti-Papal demonstrator Peter Tatchell said: ‘This is another own goal from the Vatican. It shows just how out of touch the Pope and his entourage are. Most Catholics will be appalled by the remarks.
Scientist Richard Dawkins (right) and author Christopher Hitchens (left), both atheist, asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. The pair believedthey could exploit the same legal principle used to arrest Augusto Pinochet, the late Chilean dictator, when he visited Britain in 1998, or more recently, Tzipi Livni, Israel’s former foreign minister and current opposition leader, who staunchly defends Israel’s offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, had to cancel her trip to the UK because of the same kind of charges issued by Palestinian activists.
The Pope’s visit thou, have had no (penal) consequences (yet). But the atmosphere of controversy - and sometimes outright hostility - is likely to persist throughout the four-day visit. Protesters will be in attendance wherever the Pope goes, and Benedict himself will anger anti-clerical critics on Friday when he delivers a speech in Westminster Hall.